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A Celebratory Feast

Author: Ullapool Creative Writing Group

Poems inspired by Ode to Tomatoes by Pablo Neruda translated by Margaret Sayers Peden

Ullapool Creative Writing Group

Curry

Sandy Underwood

Why have one spice when

You can have plenty

Start with the C’s

Cumin, Cardamon,

Coriander and Chilli

Then bung in the G’s

Garlic and Ginger

And Garam Masala

Stir up the sauce

Throw in the meat

Stir for a while

Building the heat

Serve up from the pan

And gone in a flash

Untitled

Alastair Cunningham

I’m not cooking it but I am going to let it rest

A Barolo uncorked and decanted

Waiting to add its richness

To the plateful of venison that’s just been offered.

Precursor to a Sunday afternoon without ambition

Save woozy board games and

Just possibly

A word from my teenage son to acknowledge

Existence.

Toast

Jon Miller

Attend to the bread.

Notice its softness

its yielding brown

the brow of the crust

and thank it for

what it is about to give up.

Attend to the toaster

resplendent in silver livery

its flex ushering electricity

from power stations

and hydro dams

Offer it to its mouth

its iron grill

and as it sinks

drink in the soft aroma

about your head

a blessing of sorts

filling the kitchen

It will rise with a cry

but not of pain

and you will sense

its heating your fingers

and raise your knife

glinting in the early morning sun

to caress it with butter

that oozes into its flanks

like the basting of meat

the dressing of salad

and gives it succulence

then red sweetness, the jam

like a fine coat for an evening out

and finally, like a rising of swallows

over cornfields, its taste

enters you and morning

is whole and complete.

There is nothing else to live for.

Absent Yam

Barbara Peffers

Asparagus

Butter

Celery

Dates

Endive

Figs

Gooseberries

Herring

Ice cream

Jellied eels

Kefir

Lemons

Mushrooms

Nasturtiums

Oranges

Pears

Quince

Rhubarb

Sardines

Truffles

Ugli fruit

Vanilla

Watermelon

Xhale

Yawn

Zzzzz

Freestyle Cake

Lorraine Thomson

My daughter bakes freestyle,

Requiring no scales, she measures by instinct,

As generous with her gestures as she is with my butter,

She creates clouds of flour,

Shrouds the kitchen in icing sugar

And soon from the oven, sweet scents ooze out with a hug.

Skirlie

Madeline Macphail

Venison slowly roasting in the oven

Vegetables and rowan jelly at the ready

Now for the skirlie to make it into a feast of the taste buds.

Not the old fashioned way of frying in dripping from the meat

Quickly, best oatmeal mixed with chopped onion, salt and oil

three minutes in the micro.

The crowning Scottish glory of the feast.

Baked at 57 degrees (North)

Alastair Cunningham

Fresh white bread - still soft from the oven

In a far country olive oil tops it

But here is heartier: goats’ cheese or salted butter.

Nothing to the preparation but freshness

Roast potatoes are not as hard as I once thought

Par boil, chill and watch the clock

Don’t heat too early

One hour’s blast is enough

To turn them into Rosemary’s coated Bon Bonsais.